Advertising firm WPP’s protracted bid for media buying group Tempus was declared unconditional today after shareholders backed the deal.
WPP, which is headed by Sir Martin Sorrell, received support for the 555p a share cash offer from shareholders representing 93.9% of Tempus.
Acceptances from at least 90% of investors were necessary for WPP to be obliged to proceed with its offer, which valued Tempus at £437m.
The offer, which was posted on the day before the US terrorist attacks, still depends on clearance from competition authorities and WPP not invoking a ‘‘no material adverse change’’ in conditions clause.
The approach from WPP trumped an earlier bid from the French advertising firm Havas.
But Havas pulled out of the running last week after saying market conditions had deteriorated since it tabled its £425m offer in July.
London-based Tempus originally backed the offer from Havas, but that recommendation was withdrawn when WPP placed its higher bid.
Havas had been expected to return with an improved offer as it aimed to create the world’s fourth largest media buying agency.
However, chief executive Alain de Pouzilhac said it would be ‘‘unwise’’ to proceed with his firm’s offer.